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FAO in India

Workshop on SDG indicators related to food and agriculture

07/05/2019

India has been an active contributor to the development of the Global Monitoring Framework for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which comprises 232 SDG indicators. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been designated as the custodian agency for 21 SDG indicators and contributing agency to a further five indicators.

A workshop on SDG indicators related to food and agriculture was organized yesterday by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) and FAO.

In the inaugural session, Shri Pravin Srivastava, Chief Statistician of India, stated that ‘India looks for a long term partnership with FAO to monitor indicators related to SDGs’.  As global SDGs achievement is dependent on India, it is very important to work with the Indian States to ensure alignment of national schemes and outputs with the national indicators and the global monitoring framework.

Mr Pietro Gennari, Chief Statistician of FAO gave an overview of the global monitoring framework, role of FAO in monitoring the SDGs related to Food and Agriculture, and a detailed framework of the 21 indicators under FAO custodianship. He mentioned, "FAO seeks collaboration with India, as India has played an important leadership role in establishing agricultural statistical system in India and across regions". He also stated that the National Statistical Department has the responsibility to communicate quality data.

India has made good efforts to align the Government Schemes and Programmes to the 17 Goals. The NITI Aayog has been continuously working with States and other Stakeholders to align programmes with SDGs, and to build local capacity design, implementation and monitoring, said Ms. Sanyukta Samaddar, Adviser GCS, NITI Aayog. MoSPI has developed a National Indicator Framework (NIF) for monitoring progress on SDGs and associated targets. A set of 306 national indicators are finalized in NIF with identified data sources and periodicity and 19 national indicators have been identified for SDG 2 – Zero Hunger. Monitoring global indicators in India is important to assess India’s progress towards SDGs, to be able to compare India’s progress with other countries, and to be able to generate regional and global estimates. At the same time, it is important to develop national level indicators so that progress on dimensions of SGDs and Targets that are of specific relevance to the country are also monitored.

India’s statistical system has strong technical foundations and a robust institutional architecture, said Prof Rawal. India has a strong system of surveys for collection of socio-economic and agricultural statistics. These should be leveraged for collection of statistics for monitoring progress on SDGs. Dr. Tauqueer Ahmad, IASRI, emphasized on using technologies like GIS and remote sensing in the Indian context.

The 2030 Development Agenda provides an opportunity to strengthen the statistical system. In case of India, reporting on most indicators related to food and agriculture require relatively small modifications and extensions in systems of data collection, processing and reporting. Collaboration between FAO and MoSPI can go a long way in strengthening our statistical system in the area of food and agriculture. Using its own technical capacity and through collaborative work with agencies such as FAO, India can assume a leadership role among developing countries in strengthening the statistical systems for monitoring progress towards SDGs.